Roasted butternut and tomato soup with butter beans

Roasted butternut and butterbean soup

Roasted butternut and butterbean soup

I’ve said again and again that I don’t accept society’s definition of success. I’ve gone on and on explaining that I don’t always value what we’re supposed to value. I like to try to maintain my own definition of what makes a person successful and therefore happy, of what is worth working for. But let’s face it, sometimes it all comes crashing down around you, sometimes it’s just too much effort to think the happy thoughts that keep you aloft and the pixie dust wears off. And then you feel discouraged. I’m sure it happens to everyone, it comes and it goes. But discouragement is of no interest to anyone, so I’ll give you this instead.
dancing dogs
It’s dancing dogs! It’s from 200 BC! It’s from Jalisco, which is in Mexico! It makes me so happy that somebody took the time to make this. It’s so beautiful and joyful and perfect in every way. You can see the original at the Princeton University Art Museum, which is a wonderful place. And today’s Sunday interactive playlist is an easy one. It’s dancing songs, songs about dancing or songs that make you feel like dancing. It will help us all get through these dull grey January days.

And here’s a roasty juicy soup with nice plump butter beans in it and a good dollop of pesto on top. Not hard to make and very tasty. The boys ate it with pasta, as a sort of sauce.

Here’s a link to your interactive play list. Add what you like or leave a comment and I’ll try to remember to add it for you.
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Sunshine pink soup

Sunshine pink soup

Sunshine pink soup

It’s the second anniversary of The Ordinary!! Huzzah huzzah!! Flips and possets and toddies for all my friends! It’s a dark, pouring-down-rain day, and I sit here contemplating The Ordinary and the world at large. Everything feels a little chaotic and out of control, with government shutdowns and debt ceilings and changing climates and wars and near-wars everywhere you look. I’m still reading Zola’s Germinal (I know, I know, I’m slow). Striking miners are banding together, thousands of them, frantic and desperate after months of hunger and deprivation, they’re storming across the countryside, they’re destroying machinery. They’re shouting, “Bread, bread, we want bread!” They don’t want much: they want a home of their own to keep clean and warm; they want enough food to eat; they want some special days of celebration, with fancier meals and more beer; they want to be paid a fair amount for the work that they do; they want some sense of safety and security. They’re not shutting everything down to keep people from something essential, something they need, like access to a doctor when they’re sick. (Oh, how I’d love to have health insurance!) They’re not acting out of pettiness and spite to hurt people who don’t have much, they’re acting out of need, to ask for just enough. It’s a very Ordinary theme. We’d like to write demands for a new Bon Vivantery. Rules whereby every person can live well; not extravagantly, not lazily, but assured of enough. Assured of a chance to be healthy, a chance to know what’s really happening in the world around them and farther afield, a chance to work at what they love, a chance to have food and ideas and energy and materials to create something good every day, and to work towards something better as each day goes by, a chance to feel really alive, to glow amidst the pouring-down-rain and deluge of confusion and nonsense all around us.

Isaac named this sunshine pink soup. And he really loved it! He ate several helpings. In reality, it’s all of the vegetables left from the farm at the end of the week, roasted together and pureed till smooth. The vegetables were very autumnal, winter squash, sweet potatoes and beets, so the soup has a sweet, warm flavor and color. I added ginger, rosemary and lime, for some contrasting bite and zing. I made some nice soft rolls to go with it, and that was that!!

Here’s Art Blakey’s Moanin, live and full of style, grace, beauty and joy.

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Roasted butternut white bean soup

Butternut and white bean soup

Butternut and white bean soup

In Kurisawa’s Ikiru, he describes a childhood memory, “Once when I was a child, I almost drowned. It’s just like that feeling. Darkness everywhere, and nothing for me to hold onto, no matter how hard I try.” This reminded me of Sleepy John Estes’ song Floating Bridge. It’s a beautiful, dream-like song, with repeated fragments of memory like waves washing over him – he nearly drowned, he was hid underneath the water five minutes, and when they dragged him out and laid him on a bed all he could hear was muddy water going round his head. And he’ll never forget the memory of people on the floating bridge, screaming and crying. It’s so powerful! So today’s Sunday collaborative playlist is on the subject of childhood memories. It could be of a person, or a food, or a song, or a definitive moment, any childhood memory will do.

And this soup is a bit like a wintery memory of summer. The squash is roasted, which makes the flavor rich and smoky, and the herbs – rosemary, sage, thyme, and tarragon – make it taste like a spring garden. The cauliflower and white beans make the soup lovely and velvety. I thought of this soup as Provencal, for some reason! The herbs, I guess!

Here’s your interactive playlist on childhood memories. Feel free to add anything you like!
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